WASHINGTON, D.C.-- On April 12, 2012, the nearly 200 bishops of the American Catholic Church issued issued "an urgent summons to our fellow Catholics and fellow Americans" to defend religious liberty and protect the First Freedom of the Bill of Rights.
“This is not a Catholic issue. This is not a Jewish issue. This is not an Orthodox, Mormon, or Muslim issue. It is an American issue,” they said.
The bishops also proposed that the fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, be dedicated to the theme of a "fortnight for freedom." This period will be a special time of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action that will emphasize the double heritage of Christian and American liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country can choose a date in that period for special events that will form a national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.
“As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we address an urgent summons to our fellow Catholics and fellow Americans to be on guard, for religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad,” they declared.
They outlined their position in “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty.” The document was developed by the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
“Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home,” the document declared. “It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans.”
“Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans,” they said. “Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith?”
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Full text of statement: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/our-first-most-cherished-liberty.cfm